golden yug
[ May 18, 2017 ] Public Works department has always been priority of any Govt and its sincerity in accomplishing the works convinces people of presence of Govt and makes differences in life of people with new infrastructure including roads and buildings. But unfortunately in J&K Govt this department is unaware of word transparency, accountability and honesty and it has already swindled huge govt funds for most of works where funds shown utilized but where compromise with regard to quality has always been done just for the sake of personal benefits. Whenever road side is dug for laying cables it definitely causes problems to residents of area who are also seen protesting against Govt but general public may or may not be knowing that when the private cellular companies like Idea Cellular Limited, Reliance Jio, Airtel ,Vodafone, BSNL and Vindhya Telelink Limited lay Optical Fibre Cables(OFC) in Jammu region, they pay as per demanded by department for any type of damage including damage to roads charges which occurs in the process of digging for laying OFCs and that too in advance. The companies which face flak from public have no fault of theirs as they pay for damage to roads and pay handsomely to bring back the damaged roads back in its original form but the PWD Department after receiving funds don’t utilize the funds properly and sacrifice work by managing personal benefits and allowing substandard restoration works. .The reality is that PWD Department charges from cellular companies ensuring top class restoration of damaged works but the memorandum of understanding which is signed between the department and cellular companies before laying of optical fiber cables is not implemented on ground as per MoU, the blacktopping should be by mixed plant as when the digging work is undertaken the damage is done to roads which are blacktopped by mixed plant but when the restoration work is undertaken the restoration work of damaged roads is not taken as per money taken but mostly manual work is undertaken. The restoration work must involve 100 mm thick water Bound macadam, 75 thick WBM Grade III(Metalling) and 20 mm thick open graded premix carpet for which department receives funds from companies but the restoration work is not undertaken based on these parameters and funds are shown spent according to parameters but funds are used for personal welfare rather than handing over the restoration work to public for which they are paid.The unfortunate part is works worth crores were carried out without inviting tenders by PWD R&B Division 1st some of the damaged road works undertaken without tenders include Satwari Airport road Satwari Warehouse via Asia Hotel M/s Sterlite Technologies Ltd and hand pump to 4th bridge including approved warehouse via Hotel Asia worth Rs 104.10 lacs vide DD No. 206264dated 5-6-2015, restoration of road Kaluchak via Kunjwani road Jammu worth Rs 67.60 lacs vide DD No. 206263 dated 5-6-2015 by the company Reliance Jio Infotech Limited, Satwari Chowk to Military Hospital via technical Airport worth Rs 42.08 lacs vide DD No. 206388 dated 10-05-2015 by M/s Sterlite Technologies Ltd , From Covent School via Gandhi Nagar Hospital Gurudwara Golemarket park and other areas in Shastri Nagar Gandhi Nagar worth Rs 32.76 lacs vide DD No. 656953 dated 27-8-2015, restoration of road surface damaged after laying optical fibre at Kotli Mian Fateh Bishnah road and Jeevan Nagar Maralian road at Babliana near MBS College by Reliance Jio worth Rs 12.25 lacs granted permission by Chief Engineer vide No. 18533-34 dated 26-12-2016, worth Rs 21.53 lacs restoration of road surface damaged on Jinder Khurd dated 30-11-2016 , Rs 23.16 lacs restoration of road at Trikuta Nagar along canal by Bharti Airtel, Rs 42.11 lacs on blacktopping routes in Jammu by Reliance Jio likewise several roads where works worth several lacs were undertaken without inviting e-tenders/tenders. Rs 52.90 lacs for damaged road in Channi Himmat area by Jio Infotech Limited vide DD No. 571891 dated 8-7-2016. However department only invited few tenders worth few lacs as a eyewash and did not carry out works by inviting tenders.In addition to this two works in PWD R&B Reasi worth Rs 43.39 lacs damaged road charges IRP Chowk to Burdhari road Vide DD No 212195 dated 21-07-2016 and Rs 36.40 lacs by the company Vindhya Telelink from Ashoka Chowk near ATM SBI Reasi Indira Chowk where 19.78 worth work has been done without inviting tenders“The service provider shall be solely responsible for full restoration/reinstatement to bring the original position of the dug up surface/damage caused to other underground installation/utility services/ interruption, replacement, disruption or failure caused thereof to any services up to the satisfaction of the concerned department,” the policy reads. As per the applicable rules of govt every work valued up to one lac should be undertaken after inviting tender but the PWD department undertakes works worth lacs without inviting tenders. Moreover the terms and condition agreed in MoU never applied in practical and also there is no accountability shown by department to restore damaged work when the restoration payment is deposited by the companies who undertake these works. Some the works include Rs 43.39 lacs from police guest house IRP Chowk to Burdhari road spreading of OFC cable was given to contractors of their choice using reserved money vide DD No. 212195 dated 21-07-2016 without floating tenders. The present black topping work undertaken by PWD near Railway station adjoining with JDA Compex, Media complex, Transport Commissioner Office is being undertaken using manual method where the same work should have been carried out by mixed plant. Several complaints have been reported from other parts of region also where manual blacktopping work uprooted with in three months time exposing substandard works and one such example is at Preet Nagar where local hit the streets and roads against this. The simple reason is manual work earns concerned huge profit where as using mixed plant reduces their profit but in all this it is the poor public which is largely at loss as this the tax payers money which should be properly used for quality works. Public Works Department (Roads and Buildings Department), responsible for creation of crucial infrastructure like roads, buildings and bridges in any state, is either working without any “manual” in J&K or it is not available to senior officers of the department. Manual is an instruction booklet vis-à-vis rules and procedures. “In absence of any pre-written rules and procedures, the officers there in the department do not know classification of functions and other procedures like preparation of estimates, Preliminary Estimate, Detailed Estimate, Schedule of Rates, Recasting of Estimate, Supplementary Estimate, preparation and passing bills for payments, Authorities to pass the bills, Payment for work done, Contracts And Forms, Award of work without call of tenders, security deposit and performance guarantee, Manual is very important as every central government construction department follows set rules of the manual of the department. This is beneficial for the contractor and department and ensures transparency and accountability in the department. In absence of the written manual the officers of the department are left with no option but to take decision as per their own will. This promotes nepotism and corruption in the system. In every functionary of the department, right from the commissioner/secretary office to subordinate office, should display copy of the departmental manual and same should be shared with the contractors and general public so for a transparent and accountable system. There are several examples in Channi Himmat area where several works worth lacs has been done without inviting tenders and not only this the quality of work is sacrificed which is gross betrayal with the money of tax payers. This is being done to ensure that their personal pockets remains green without caring that such actions decolour the lives of people who pay tax to seek development for them. Despite several prominent persons approached the Chief Engineer and narrated the wrong doings but Chief Engineer has not taken any action against this which proves beyond any doubt that there exists a strong nexus between PWD staff and these companies whose price is being paid by innocent people of state. It deserves mentioning here that Retired Chief Engineer is very much responsible as under his patronage bulk of substandard works executed and huge chunk of money as profit generated for personal welfare and which has badly damaged the image of department as highly corroupt. He is reported to be involved in mass bungling of Govt funds.A thorough enquiry should be done to ensure that proper estimate was done of the damage and the restoration work was done to bring it to original position so that transparency should be done with the public money. Similarly in other divisions same has been done or the same is being done without following any norms.